Businesses unite for fair
Much of what Estacada's business community has to offer was on display last weekend when shops, restaurants and other organizations banded together for a community trade fair.
The event, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Harvest Market Square, was sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce.
Participants enjoyed complimentary wares from many vendors and free chair massages courtesy of the Oregon Massage and Lymphedema Clinic. Students from Timber Lake Job Corps cooked complimentary hot dogs for anyone interested while the Mossy Rock Ramblers played into the afternoon.
Owners and employees of the 21 participating businesses appreciated interacting with both customers and community members.
"It's visibility for the community," said insurance agent Paul Strobel. "I still get people who say, 'I didn't know Estacada had State Farm.' People can see what's here, and all the good stuff that Estacada has to offer."
Ken Johnson of Fearless Brewing had similar thoughts.
"There are a lot of great businesses available in town," he said. "Especially if you commute, it's easy to forget that we have great stores. You drive by a bunch of businesses but we've probably got one here. You can leave your money with your neighbors."
Many agreed that the event's location at Harvest Market Square was valuable. For the event's inaugural year last summer, it was held on the lawn in front of Estacada City Hall but moved this year because of construction.
"There are more people this year because of the location (at Harvest Market Square)," said Michele Jones of Reliance Connects. "We're way more visible."
"Every parking spot on Broadway is full," added Connie Redmond, who was representing the Estacada Rural Fire District and the Estacada Fungus Association. "Harvest Market Square is such a beautiful location right in downtown. It's good we got to set up here."
In addition to many well established local business, the event also featured one business owner who recently joined the Chamber upon hearing about the event: Peggy Price of Magnolia Designs.
Price, a South Carolina native, started the business several years ago to create one-of-a-kind, formal aprons.
"(In South Carolina), they use a lot of hostess aprons when people are over," said the self-proclaimed "apronologist," or designer of aprons. "These aren't aprons
you wipe your hands on after cooking."
Price, who lives in Boring, often visits Estacada and was eager to participate in the event once she discovered its existence.
"I joined the Chamber to be part of this event," she said. "I've made a lot of sales today. A lot of people are smiling. I like the cheerfulness of everything."
Meanwhile, Estacada Mayor Sean Drinkwine represented Whitney Signs, where he works with his wife Mary Whitney. He enjoyed witnessing the crowds that the trade fair drew.
"There are a lot of people that I haven't seen in the past," he said. "People in the upper hills that recently moved here are coming down (into town). This is becoming their city."
Drinkwine believes that many elements about the event indicate that the area's economy is healthy.
"We've had three customers for signs already," he said. "New businesses looking for signs means that the economy is getting better, and people aren't afraid to spend."
Many agree that the afternoon was a valuable opportunity for the community to come together.
Realtor Susan Wagner thought the best part of the event was "the whole small community feel."
"You see people and they look familiar, and you ask, 'How do I know you?" she said.
Drinkwine appreciated the event's community element, as well.
"It's more than just a trade fair," he said. "People can get to know their neighbors and see what they do. It's a win-win."